Bruins stay quiet on first day of free agency

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Bruins stay quiet on first day of free agency

WILMINGTON, Mass. As expected, it was a comfortably quiet day first day of free agency for the Boston Bruins.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli officially re-signed two of his own players and locked up a Russian prospect for three years, but also said he wasnt moved to strike out on any of the 40-plus players inked to new deals by virtually every other NHL club.

The Bruins GM doesnt anticipate making any moves today, and said that depth signings will be the likely additions to a Bruins team thats loaded for the regular season at nearly every position.

We delved into a couple of things that never really got going anywhere. Im not going to say any positions specifically up front, but they were forwards, said Chiarelli. I dont anticipate anything happening today based on whats happened to this point.

Ive said this prior to going into today. Im not actively looking for anything. If something can improve our team then well look at it. Whether its the secondary market in free agency or the secondary market in trades, well continue to look at that stuff. But were not actively looking.

While there were some longer free-agent deals signed by players like Brandon Prust and P.A. Parenteau to the Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche, respectively, there are still plenty of quality depth forwards on the free agent market. Some of the bigger names like Ray Whitney and Shane Doan wont be an option in Boston, but other potential third-line depth forwards like Jay McClement, Jason Arnott and Daniel Winnik could all be available should the Bruins strike in free agency.

But it appears Chiarelli is ready to move forward with 21-year-old Jordan Caron on the inside track for a starting left wing job with fellow youngsters like Chris Bourque, Ryan Spooner and Jared Knight ready to potentially battle for a spot in training camp. The Bs general manager originally hoped for a Recchi-type veteran to be added to the mix, but that may no longer be in the cards for the Black and Gold.

In past years weve had not too often but weve had one or two players that we actively wanted to add to our team. Wed go after them, and that applied to a guy like Michael Ryder. This year we didnt have a player there that we thought we could get right off the hop.

So that speaks to how I feel about our team. There are a couple of guys that you want to test the waters with, and check in with them. See what they want, see where they are and see what their plans are. Besides that weve had some meetings about some depth guys, but its been relatively quiet.

As the total of open spots dwindle for a large mass of free agents looking for NHL homes, there may be some intriguing possibilities for the Bruins. They could potentially upgrade from the kiddie corps currently earmarked for the third line alongside Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley, or they may wait until they can move Tim Thomas' 5 million cap hit toward the end of the summer.

It sounds like the Bruins will be simply content to return with the 19 players that logged minutes and games with last years team, and instead hope for a better result than the first round playoff exit to the Washington Capitals.

Report: Bruins, Krug agree to four-year, $21 million deal

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Report: Bruins, Krug agree to four-year, $21 million deal

On the heels of buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, the Bruins and defenseman Torey Krug have agreed to a four-year contract worth an average of $5.25 million a year, TSN’s Aaron Ward reported.

Krug, 25, joins Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller, and Adam McQuaid as defensemen currently under contract for the B’s. So, they’ll likely continue to be on the lookout for others as free agency begins Friday.  

Krug scored a career-low four goal last season but had a career-high with 44 points.

More to come...

 

Bruins buying out veteran D-man Dennis Seidenberg

Bruins buying out veteran D-man Dennis Seidenberg

The Bruins placed veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg on waivers on Thursday for the purposes of buying the veteran defenseman out of the final two years of his contract.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Seidenberg, who turns 35 July 18, still had two years remaining on a deal that would have paid him $4 million in each of the seasons. The move will save the Black and Gold roughly $4.6 million in cap space over the next two years.

Seidenberg confirmed the contract buyout to CSNNE.com and confirmed one other thing: "I going to miss it."

The extra space should theoretically allow the Bruins to spend big money on Friday when free agency opens, but the Bruins really haven’t been the lead suitors for any of the major available players to this point.

With the way buyouts work, however, the spread over four years means that the Bruins will still be including $1.16 million cap hits from 2018-2020, and are now down another experienced D-man who was a stalwart warrior for them over the years. Seidenberg clearly lost a step after blowing out his knee in the 2013-14 season and was a minus player for the first time in Boston last season with one goal and 12 points in 61 games.

The skating speed was noticeably slower and Seidenberg had trouble keeping up with the pace even as he continued to block shots and throw opponents around in the defensive zone. Seidenberg finishes his seven seasons in Boston with 23 goals and 117 points in 401 games as a rugged top-four defenseman. He will always be cherished in Boston for his marvelous stretch en route to the Stanley Cup in 2011.

Claude Julien pairing Seidenberg with Zdeno Chara midway through their first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens changed the tide of that playoff matchup and was the combo used by the B’s for the playoffs when they again made it to the Cup Final in 2013 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The German-born defenseman was a respected and tough veteran leader in the B’s dressing room and will be missed for his toughness and accountability whether it was good times or bad in the room.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie was the first to report that Seidenberg was being placed on waivers for the purpose of being bought out of his contract. 

 

 

Haggerty: Bruins on sidelines while top NHL GMs make big moves

Haggerty: Bruins on sidelines while top NHL GMs make big moves

The Bruins were all around the action on Wednesday as the massive hockey trades dropped fast and furiously, but once again they were on the outside with their anticipatory faces pressed up against the glass as the top GMs in the game did their thing.

Instead, the B’s were left to mull an offer sheet to Jacob Trouba that isn’t very likely to drop on Friday and wait for the secondary defenseman market in free agency as it appears the Oilers might have snapped up Jason Demers already.

Some of the bold moves clearly may be mistakes: the Canadiens got older, slower and much more explosive in swapping out P.K. Subban for Shea Weber one-for-one, but also will be tougher to play against in some ways with Weber and Andrew Shaw now added to the mix. Clearly, GM Dave Poile once again was the right manager in the right place at the right time to land the super-talented Subban, who will pack the hockey house in Nashville and help continue a tradition of stud defensemen for the Predators organization.

One keen hockey source cautioned me when I said the Habs got worse on Wednesday: “I don’t think people understand how good Weber really is in the East. Montreal has become a lot harder to play against with him and Shaw.”

This certainly may be true, but the Bruins lost their cherished Habs villain with Subban moving to the Nashville Predators, where he will become a genuine U.S. hockey market superstar. Subban was charismatic and colorful, and played the role with the flops and the phantom embellishment that has become synonymous with Habs hockey over the years.

His personality and elite skill level won him a Norris Trophy a few years back and made him one of the biggest stars in the NHL and his absence now significantly reduces the wattage of the modern Bruins/Canadiens rivalry. That’s another blow to a storied rivalry that was flat as its been in years last season without Milan Lucic. It’s one that might have some rocky roads ahead with the Bruins very clearly in need of some roster help.

Peter Chiarelli became the first GM in NHL history to trade both the first and second overall picks in the same draft after shipping away Tyler Seguin in 2013 and then dealing Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday for young, developing D-man Adam Larsson.  Essentially he traded two top-of-the-draft lottery picks for two Swedish mid-first round talents in Loui Eriksson and Larsson. That’s going to leave many questioning his decision-making process until we see the final picture this October in Edmonton.

If things don’t go very right for the Oil this season, with Larsson developing into a prime time top-pairing D-man, the heat could turned up on Chiarelli in the never-ending rebuild in Edmonton.

Once again credit a veteran GM in Ray Shero with getting exactly what his team needed in a dynamic scoring force like Hall and doing it while giving up something that hadn’t been a significant piece over the past few seasons in New Jersey. This may just be the cost of doing business for Chiarelli if Lucic and Demers are indeed on their way to the Oilers as free agents, and if the whispers are true that Edmonton might move Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for defensemen help as well.

None of this even begins to mention GM Steve Yzerman in Tampa Bay, who calmly and patiently waited out the Steve Stamkos free agency sweepstakes until his star player came back to him for a massive hometown discount. Now, he has the superstar, the young and talented core group and the players from those two second-round picks the B's charitably sent along for right wing bust Brett Connolly. 

The one thing that defies explanation is the Bruins-friendly voices that say inking the 22-year-old Trouba to an offer sheet “makes no sense.” Guess what really makes no sense? That would be going into next season with close to the exact same back-end group that missed the playoff cut over the past two seasons and couldn’t break the puck out of their zone under pressure if their collective lives depended on it.

The Bruins don’t have the trade assets in their organization to match offers of players like Taylor Hall and Matt Duchene, and they were beaten to the punch for top free agent D-men like Keith Yandle and Alex Goligoski and perhaps even Demers. That “makes no sense” for a Bruins team that finished 19th in the league in goals allowed and had a blue line group that couldn’t execute simple tape-to-tape passes up the ice.  

Signing Kevan Miller to a four-year, $10 million contract extension? Signing fringe free agent D-men like John-Michael Liles? Not getting anything done with anybody in the trade or free agency market around draft weekend and July 1? That’s what really “doesn’t make sense” to me if I’m trying to cough out the Black and Gold party line right about now.

Because the NHL management groups with the big stones, the matching respect factor and the real NHL assets are making big, bold moves all across the league right now, and the Bruins are still waiting idly for their numbers to get called at the NHL deli counter.